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What amp to go with?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dannydarko89, Apr 2, 2013.


  1. Howdy guys and gals, new to the forums, just getting back into bass and just starting to gig with a band. We like to call our style Americana, but we mostly play Folk, Old Country and a bit of Blues thrown in for good measure.

    Anyway, I'm looking to go with a kind of vintage sound, I'm playing a Gretsch 5123B with flatwounds, but right now I'm just playing through the PA. We are starting to get gigs bigger than the local open mic night so I'm looking to get an amplifier.

    That being said we aren't playing for more than a couple of hundred people so I'm looking at a combo of some sort.

    Tube driven would be the amp of choice I think, would you guys recommend the Fender TV series, Bassman '59 Reissue, or something else? Money is kind of tight, so cost effective would be nice, but I know Tubes and Price kind of go hand in hand...

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. If you're looking to get a full tube amp, price is going to be your biggest challenge.
    However, there are a TON of great amp heads on the market now with a tube preamp and solid state power amp. I'd recommend to not get a combo at first, but instead just go ahead and get a used head and cab for a good price. If it will only be a couple hundred people, I think a decent 500w head and 410 cabinet should do you just fine, and then you can upgrade pieces from there when the time comes. For a vintage-ish sound, really I think no one does that better than Ampeg, but that's just my $0.02.

    Have you considered the Ampeg Portaflex series amps and cabs?
     
  3. AngusHasMoxie

    AngusHasMoxie Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Easthampton, MA
    Formerly endorsed by Carvin, Basson and Dimarzio
    Ashdown just brought out some low wattage tube amps, you can check those out. I've only seen guitarists use a Bassman, which dates me as very young, I'm sure, but between that, a Peavey classic 50, and maybe the Peavey VB-2 and the Traynor YBA-200 are the others "low cost" tube amps.

    What you gotta do, is find a guitar shop with a decent bass amp room, sit down, and let your ears do some shopping. A lot of modern amps can do a pretty darn good impression of the classic stuff.
     
  4. My recommendation is the G-K MB Fusion head, full three tube preamp with 500 watt SS power amp and two Ampeg PF 15" cabs.
     
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Here are a couple of strange suggestions.
    1) SansAmp Bass Driver DI. It gets kinda close to tube tone, and you can shoot it straight to the board. This way you can find an economical combo for stage monitoring.

    2) I call it "The Sleeper". It's my 70s Fender PA100. It was originally designed as a small 4 channel PA. But it shares some characteristics with the tube bass/guitar heads of the day. It sounds AMAZING for bass. And I found mine in amazing shape for $275. They have no vintage value whatsoever. So, not only can you find them cheap, but you can mod them all you want without killing any collector value. I have really enjoyed taking mine to play blues gigs, or when I am the house bass player for an open mic blues night. Heck, I have even plugged a harmonica player's bullet mic into one of the other channels while I was playing bass. BOTH sounded incredible. I get complimented on my tone every time I take it out. It's 100W, heavy as crap, and simply sounds gorgeous. You can stick just about any cab you want under it. Also, if you need DI to the board, snag a Countryman Type 85 or some other DI that lets you do speaker level DI. That way you can come off of one of the speaker jacks to get the full tube compliment in your signal going to the board.
     

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